How Time Warner's chief executive Jeffrey Bewkes decides to spend a $9.25 billion cash windfall arriving later this year will be a crucial test in the eyes of investors.
shareholders, wary of Time Warner's track record on acquisitions, see repurchasing shares as the only way to go. But the right deal, such as Scripps Networks Interactive, could help TW bulk up its
programming and boost ad and licensing revenues, ultimately lifting the stock.
In the end, Bewkes may split the difference--using some of the cash to buy back shares while scouting overseas for smaller TV, Web, movie and videogame deals.